First, I need to say upfront that there are many good parents who send their kids to government-funded schools and private schools. You are not necessarily in the wrong to delegate the responsibility of educating your children to the state.

That said, my wife and I have decided to homeschool our children.

When I was studying to earn my master’s degree in education, the courses that most affected me had to do with the philosophy of education. While grappling with the issues brought up over the course of three years of grad school, I came to see that Scripture clearly lays the responsibility of children’s education at the feet of their parents. Parents are free to delegate that responsibility to others — be they Christians or non-Christians — but in the end it’s the parents’ responsibility to educate their children, not primarily the government’s.

The question then is this: If you have chosen not to educate your children yourself, who should be granted this responsibility? Those who strive to honor the Lord or those who couldn’t care less?

And this gets to the foundation, the philosophy, of education.

All education is conducted within a worldview. The Christian worldview says that God is relevant, that He created “all this” for a purpose, that discovering His handiwork through science and biology and language and mathematics honors Him. The worldview that is at the foundation of “public schools” is one that says that God is irrelevant, that there is no higher meaning behind history and science that ties everything together, that there is ultimately no meaning beyond ourselves. The agnostic (some would say “atheistic”) philosophies of Dewey and Darwin drive what we see in today’s government-sponsored schools.

I think it’s crucial that our children learn how to think, and what to think about, within the context of an educational system that acknowledges the Creator. What better way to study the inner workings of a frog or the interactions of gravitational forces or the intricacies of tone and rhythm in music than in light of a good Creator who conceived these things for His glory and our enjoyment?

Better understanding the character and works of God is our motivation for learning. Within the context of an educational system that excludes God, the motivation for learning diminishes or becomes misplaced.

If you’re so inclined, please consider downloading and reading my personal philosophy of education for more details.

Ted Slater
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